The project will be undertaken in three phases.
Phase 1: Information Gathering
In the initial phase of the project (January-March), LARKE is gathering information about unimproved streets in Woodstock. We are currently visiting every street in the neighborhood to develop an inventory of street characteristics and conditions. Data will be mapped to provide residents and property owners with a starting point for thinking about how unimproved streets impact connectivity throughout the neighborhood. To put this data in context, we are conducting a basic review of neighborhood history, demographics and housing trends.
We are also beginning to research city policy and meet with city planners and engineers to gather information about property owners' rights and responsibilities related to rights-of-way (ROW) adjacent to their property. Specifically, we're looking into options the City currently presents to residents for improving and maintaining streets, the flexibility of the City with regards to alternative uses of the ROW, and how receptive the City would be to alternative ROW options that would address safety, connectivity and livability goals.
This background research is intended to provide a starting point for the most important information gathering effort of the project: talking to residents and property owners about how they currently use and perceive unimproved streets, and how they would like to use them in the future. On February 27, we will hold a public Discovery Session to share information about the project and to facilitate a community discussion about unimproved streets. We are looking to the community for input about how this project can best serve the neighborhood. We are also conducting a web survey aimed at capturing feedback both from Discovery Session participants and from those who are unable to attend the meeting.
Phase 2: Evaluation of Alternatives
In the second phase of the project (March-April), LARKE will research and evaluate alternative policies, designs and funding strategies. Specifically, we will be searching for alternatives that address the desires and concerns expressed by Woodstock residents and property owners during the initial phase of the project. These alternatives may come from interesting projects happening around Portland as well as from other cities in the U.S. and abroad.
In order to evaluate legal, technical and political feasibility, alternatives will be presented to an advisory committee comprised of city planners, engineers and elected officials. The advisory committee meeting will inform our selection of feasible alternatives, which will then be presented to the community at a second public meeting in April. The purpose of the second public meeting is to solicit feedback and develop a list of preferred alternatives and recommendations.
Phase 3: Final Products and Recommendations
In the final phase of the project (April-May), LARKE will create two final products:
(1) A Toolkit to provide step-by-step information for Woodstock residents and property owners interested in collaborating with neighbors to improve a single block
(2) A Final Report and Final Presentation documenting our findings and recommendations for the neighborhood as a whole